Introducing a New Playground for TCI EXPO ’22

You asked for it, you got it. At TCI EXPO ’22, TCIA will debut TCI EXPOClimb, a playground for all tree care workers – especially climbers – that will be high touch, high energy and highly interactive.

TCI EXPOClimb will be a place for climbers to try out gear, watch demos and compete. Here, RBI/Shelter Tree’s Elizabeth Rodewald is shown climbing on a truss in Shelter Tree’s demo booth. Photo courtesy of RBI/Shelter Tree.

“It’s just what the industry has been asking for,” says Peter Gerstenberger, TCIA’s senior vice president for industry expertise. “This year we’re pulling a lot of the climbing equipment and climbing activities together under one roof to create the ultimate experience for attendees.”

An entire floor at the Charlotte Convention Center will be dedicated to the climbing community, with opportunities to try out new gear, get tips from experienced trainers, participate in an indoor climbing competition run by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and relax and interact with old friends and new at a Thursday happy hour.

EXPOClimb will engage, entertain and educate professionals all at the same time.

Gear galore

“It’s going to be a fully interactive Disneyland of arboriculture,” says Elizabeth Rodewald, innovation administrator to the CEO at RBI Corporation, parent company of Shelter Tree, an arborist-gear distribution company that will be joined by a number of its suppliers to share the newest technology and products. “We’re bringing it all to the table this year. At the ‘Open Truss’ at EXPOClimb, attendees will be able to try on everything from harnesses to ropes to personal protective equipment (PPE) to hardware to gear bags. Pretty much anything you can think of for climbers will live at EXPOClimb.”

TCI EXPO ’22 – Pulling it all together this year!

  • FREE trade show, 220-plus exhibitors on two show floors
  • Six full- and half-day pre-conference workshops
  • 38 sessions (with the All-Access Pass)
  • 10 live-tree demos and seven trainer’s labs
  • NATS Skills Arena competitions
  • TCI EXPOClimb
  • Business lounge
  • ISA climbing competition
  • Outdoor Block Party
  • Happy hour and Welcome Reception
  • Digital access to earn even more CEUs (with All Access pass)

Other vendors exhibiting on the EXPOClimb floor will include Buckingham Climbing Innovations, Drayer Tree Care Equipment, Engineered Rope, ISA, Yale Cordage, Kong USA, Samson Rope, Speak Easy Communication and more.

EXPOClimb will amplify the opportunities for networking and education. “We’re excited to bring together so many players in the industry so they can build relationships, learn from each other, demo new products and talk to leading experts in the field,” says Gerstenberger.

“There is a huge benefit to having all the different products available in one place. Learning what the latest equipment is can be a game changer for tree workers to help them step up their career,” says Jared Abrojena, Certified Arborist, former International Tree Climbing Championship (ITCC) world champion and president and co-founder of Academy-Trained, who will be on hand to teach and train folks, along with fellow Academy-Trained co-founder Phil Rogacki.

For many tree care workers, the wide array of products and new gear out there can be overwhelming, according to Abrojena. You can buy things online, but it’s hard to know if it’s a good fit until you get it. “At EXPOClimb, you will be able to try out new gear to make sure it suits you,” says Abrojena.

At the “Open Truss” at TCI EXPOClimb, attendees will be able to try out the newest gear. Here, Ryan Torcicollo demonstrates “Advanced Canopy Anchors” in TCI Magazine’s Trainer’s Test Kitchen during TCI EXPO ’21. TCIA staff photo.

Abrojena and Rogacki are hosts of the podcast Meet the Tree Guys, which will broadcast live from EXPOClimb.

Healthy competition

This year during TCI EXPO, TCIA is partnering with the ISA to feature a unique indoor climbing competition. “Our indoor, head-to-head SRS speed-climbing event will add a competitive atmosphere to EXPOClimb,” says TJ Cornay, director of event services for ISA. “It will be a great opportunity for people to connect with ISA and experience what it would be like to compete in a tree-climbing championship, and to learn more about the gear and expectations for ITCC events. Our goal is to make it challenging while teaching best practices and promoting safety.”

TCI EXPOClimb is another evolution of what can happen when you bring together tree care workers from around the country. Here, Craig Bachmann presents on “Canopy Anchors” in TCI Magazine’s Trainer’s Test Kitchen during TCI EXPO ’21. TCIA staff photo.

Social atmosphere

Throughout EXPOClimb, there will be music, gear giveaways, a happy hour and a demo area for climbers who want to geek out on gear and just talk trees.

And TCI EXPO ’22 has even more in store, including its first-ever outdoor block party for hard-working tree workers to have some fun. Cold beer, food trucks, equipment demos and live music will liven up the night and give attendees an opportunity to let loose under the stars.

EXPOClimb is another evolution of what can happen when you bring together tree care workers from around the country. “We want to create an unforgettable experience that helps bring our community together, not just at the event, but beyond it,” says David White, TCIA president and CEO. “We want to help individuals grow their skills and grow their businesses and keep pushing boundaries to help the whole industry grow together.”

TCI EXPO ’22 takes place November 9-12 in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the Charlotte Convention Center. It is the world’s largest trade show and conference for the tree care industry, having had more than 4,000 registered attendees for the show in 2021. Registration opens in mid-July. To learn more, go to

Tracey Miller is the marketing content manager for the Tree Care Industry Association.

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